Chocolate and Poached Pear Layered Pavlova



Serves 8-10 

Prep time 30min  

Cook time 1hr 30min 


Chocolate Meringue 

  • 6 egg whites 
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar 
  • 300g caster sugar 
  • 2Tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 1Tbsp cornflour 
  • 1tsp balsamic vinegar 


Poached Pears  

  • 6 pears (Beurre Bosc or Corella) 
  • 500ml red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon) 
  • 250ml water  
  • 70g caster sugar  
  • 2Tbsp rose water (optional) 


Whipped Mascarpone Cream 

  • 600ml thickened cream 
  • 250g mascarpone cream 
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 


Chocolate sauce 

  • 125ml water  
  • 40g caster sugar 
  • 1Tbsp cocoa powder  
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped 


Extra topping 

  • 80g roasted hazelnuts, chopped  


  1. Preheat the oven to 200℃ and line two baking trays with baking paper. Draw a 20cm circle on each piece of paper and turn it pencil-side down (you don't want your meringue to touch the pencil side.  
  2. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high until firm peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the texture of the meringue is glossy, firm and not grainy. 
  3. Sift the cocoa powder and cornflour over the meringue and add the vinegar. Gently fold through the mix until just combined. 
  4. Split the meringue between the two trays, creating 2x 20cm circles. Gently shape them into uniform discs and place them into the oven. Turn the oven down to 140℃ and bake for around 1hr and 15min or until crisp on the outside. Turn the oven off, open the door and let them cool completely in the oven. 
  5. While the meringue is cooking, make the poached pears. Peel and core the pears and cut them in half. Place the wine,water, sugar and rose water into a saucepan and heat the liquid, dissolving the sugar.  
  6. Add the pears and slowly bring to a soft boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a cartouche (a round of baking paper with a hole in the middle placed on top of the pears). Poach for around 15 minutes or until just tender. Take the pan off the heat and let the pears cool down in the liquid.  
  7. Once the pears have cooled, take them out of the liquid and set aside in the fridge until needed. Place the reserved poaching liquid back over high heat and reduce until a syrupy consistency. Set aside. 
  8. To make the whipped mascarpone cream, place the thickened cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone cream and vanilla and carefully continue to beat until the consistency of whipped cream, being careful not to over whip. 
  9. To make the chocolate sauce, place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the cocoa powder and salt and whisk until smooth. Continue to whisk over low heat until glossy and smooth.  
  10. To assemble the pavlova, place one round of meringue onto a plate and top with half of the whipped cream. Place the second round on top and spread the rest of the whipped cream over it. Place a few poached pears on top to decorate. Drizzle some of the chocolate sauce over the top as well as the reduced red wine syrup. Finish by scattering chopped hazelnuts over the top. Serve with extra sliced pears, nuts and sauce.  

Breda is a freelance food content creator, recipe developer and stylist living and working in Sydney. She is passionate about all food that is full of flavour; community, family, heritage and hospitality are at the centre of her food philosophy. She runs Una Mas Creative with her husband, making original and branded content. Check out Breda's Instagram here, and Unamas Creative page here!